Kallie’s last second kick gives Coatesville 24-21 win

Coatesville comes back late to beat Roman Catholic in closing seconds

By Kyle CarrozzaStaff Writer, The Times

Ibrahim Kallie kicks the game winner as time expires. Kallie has only been playing football for four weeks.

Ibrahim Kallie kicks the game winner as time expires. Kallie has only been playing football for four weeks.

CALN – In close games, the ones where there seems to be nothing between the teams, the ones that come down to the closing seconds and are decided by one play, it is often the veterans, seasoned with experience to be cool in high pressure situations, who emerge to make the difference.

This was not the case on Friday night.

In a 24-21 home win over Roman Catholic Friday night, it was Coatesville’s junior kicker Ibrahim Kallie, a football player for all of four weeks, who kicked a 45-yard field goal to make the difference on the last play of the game.

Billed as Coatesville’s first test of the season, the competition did not disappoint. After both teams’ opening drives stalled, a short punt by Roman Catholic gave Coatesville the ball at the away team’s 38. But the home team could not capitalize as junior quarterback Jordan Young underthrew the ball into coverage, resulting in an interception.

Both defenses held solid for the remainder of the first quarter, and the game stayed scoreless until early in the second.

“We were very confident coming into the game, defending at that part,” said Coatesville Head Coach Matt Ortega.

Early in the second quarter, Coatesville played into what could be another key strength this season when Young linked up with senior wide receiver Jay Stocker for a 36-yard pass. A solid run by senior running back Jalen Hudson was followed up by two more good passes, one to senior wide receiver James Clark and another to senior tight end Amir Ealey for the 13-yard touchdown.

Though they struggled to stop the run from the shotgun, Coatesville’s outstanding pass defense looked like it would allow the home team to take the lead into halftime, particularly after senior cornerback Nasir Newton grabbed an interception on the edge of his own red zone.

But Roman Catholic combined its success on the ground with a 33-yard pass to put together a key drive just before halftime. Starting at their own 27 with 3:47 to go, the Cahillites put together an 11 play drive and capped it off with a 2-yard run to tie the game with :08 left in the half.

Amir Ealey stretches for the touchdown to open the scoring in the second quarter.

Amir Ealey stretches for the touchdown to open the scoring in the second quarter.

“They have a lot of good skill guys like we do,” said Ortega.

Three plays into the second half, Coatesville’s secondary showed why Ortega has so much faith in his skill players when senior safety Ricky Southcott grabbed an interception.

“That’s our strongest group. We knew coming in our strong group was going to be our quarterbacks and our wide receivers and our defensive backs,” said Ortega.

The home side was able to convert on the good field position this time to take the lead. At the Roman Catholic 20, Young flipped a shovel pass to Hudson. Hudson followed the convoy of blockers ahead of him and dove into the end zone to make it 14-7.

Roman Catholic looked to respond immediately, mostly relying on the run game to string together a 60-yard drive into Coatesville’s red zone. But once again, the pass defense covered for the run defense, with senior cornerback Ahkema Evans grabbing the pick in the end zone.

Coatesville had the momentum and the lead, but the visitors’ constant chipping away with the run game nullified all that.

Near the end of the third quarter, Roman Catholic got the ball back and would not turn it over this time. Instead, they put together a 13-play drive including 11 runs for their second touchdown. A missed extra point made it 14-13 with 10:23 left in the game.

A stalled Coatesville possession later, and the away team suddenly looked like the favorites. Getting the ball back at their own 26 with eight minutes to go, the Cahillites once again pounded the run, this time breaking a 19-yard touchdown run to grab the lead. The two point conversion put a touchdown gap between the teams, 21-14 with 5:23 left.

But in the final quarter, Coatesville’s offense came alive, showing more speed and skill than it had all night. A 44-yard pass to Clark, who had 88 of his 109 yards in the fourth quarter, restored hope for the home team, putting the offense at Roman Catholic’s 37. A few short passes and a clutch fourth down conversion by Hudson put the ball inside the one yard line where Young snuck to tie the game up with two minutes left.

Judging by most of the game, one would not be blamed for thinking that the visitors would run the ball and the clock, setting themselves up for a dramatic game-winner. But just as Coatesville’s offense came alive, so did the run defense, stopping three straight runs to force a three and out.

Getting the ball back with 30 seconds remaining at the Roman Catholic 46, Young made a good pass and a solid run to get the ball down to the 28 with five seconds left.

Jordan Young rolls out and throws a pass. Though Young struggled to find consistency early, he made some key plays at the end of the game.

Jordan Young rolls out and throws a pass. Though Young struggled to find consistency early, he made some key plays at the end of the game.

“He’s been a special player for us, and we knew coming into the season that he was going to be that kind of player—we’re not surprised,” Ortega said of his quarterback.

Primarily a soccer player, Ibrahim Kallie did not anticipate his late chance to win the game. Kallie was recruited from the soccer team just before the season started and has only since become familiar with football.

“The kid is unbelievable, and I had no worries putting him out there to trying and attempt that field goal,” said Ortega.

Kallie said that he felt a surge of adrenaline as he set up from 45 yards out. That adrenaline may have allowed him to strike it a bit further than usual with defenders closing, and the result was a kick that comfortably sailed through the uprights as time expired.

“I never kicked 45 yards before. I believed in myself and believed in the team, and that’s why I made it,” he said.

Kallie’s teammates swarmed him as he put the team at 3-0 on the season.

“I swear, I love you to death, man!” yelled one of the voices from the mass of celebrating black jerseys.

Coatesville will open its ChesMont season next week, going into Avon Grove on Friday.

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